Money line: Philadelphia +115 Atlanta -125
Total line: 7
The Philadelphia Phillies will kick-off the month of May looking to gain some ground on their NL East division rival Atlanta Braves when the two meet this Tuesday night in Game 1 of a three-game series at Turner Field. This game is slated to start at 7:10 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network.
Philadelphia continues to scratch and claw its way through the early part of the season with a 10-12 record that has the division- favorites four games in back of the Braves for the lead in the East. It is 5-5 in its last 10 games and 6-7 on the road this season. The total has gone an even 11-11 in its 22 games.
The Phillies’ bats have been quiet so far but their pitching remains solid with a 2.99 team ERA. They will send Cole Hamels to the mound in this one. The left-hander is off to a great start with a 3-1 record and ERA of 2.73. His last time out, he retired 18-straight batters en route to a 7-2 victory over Arizona. Hamels is 11-6 with an ERA of 3.72 against the Braves.
Atlanta has darted to an early lead in the East with an overall record of 14-8, that has it tied with Washington. It wraps-up a four-game set with Pittsburgh on Monday after taking two of three at home from the Pirates over the weekend. The Braves are now 7-3 in their last 10 games and 7-2 at home. The total has gone ‘over’ in 12 of their 22 games this year.
The big surprise for this team in the early going has been its bats. Atlanta is tied with St. Louis in runs-scored with 113, which is tops in the NL. The Braves will go with Brandon Beachy as their starter in this one. He is 2-1 with a stingy 1.05 ERA in his first four starts and has given-up just two earned runs in his last three. Lifetime against the Phillies, the right-hander is 0-3 with an ERA of 3.94.
The Phillies are 4-1 in their last five road games against a right-handed starter and 4-1 in Hamels’ last five starts. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of his last five starts on the road.
The Braves are 11-3 in their last 14 home games against a left-handed starter but 2-9 in their last 11 games against the NL East. The total has gone ‘over’ in six of Beachy’s last six starts at home.
Head-to-head, Philadelphia has won the last seven meetings and is 6-2 in its last eight games in Atlanta. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the last four meetings.
Stick with Hamels to stay hot with another quality start as the Phillies grind-out a win to take the early edge in this series. Philadelphia 3 Atlanta 2
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.